Qld councils broke finance reporting law

A dozen Queensland councils broke the law by failing to have audit functions or audit their finances last financial year, according to a new report.

Queensland Auditor-General Brendan Worrall also found 60 per cent of local governments are at moderate or high risk of financial instability in his 2021 audit of the sector.

The report shows six councils didn’t have an internal audit function, while another six did not audit their finances in 2020/21.

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“Every council in Queensland is required to have an effective internal audit function under the legislation,” Mr Worral wrote in the report, released Wednesday.

“Yet, at 30 June 2021, 12 councils were in breach of the legislation.”

The auditor-general said 15 local governments still don’t have any audit committee and of those which do, three didn’t meet at all and two met only once during the 2021 financial year.

“In all, this means 20 councils did not have an audit committee function,” he wrote.

“An internal audit function further strengthens a council’s control environment by assisting councillors and management to improve internal controls, risk management and governance processes through independent reviews.”

More councils recovered an operating surplus after pandemic-related financial strains, the report said, but 45 councils or about 60 per cent remained at moderate or high risk of financial instability.

The worst performers were Indigenous and remote…

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